Hoping to upend the business of pre-paid gift cards, a new mobile app offers an easy way to buy last-minute gifts. Named Karma, The Next Web’s Brad McCarty calls it “a unique twist to gift-giving, and it’s one that I can actually see myself using.” Why? “I’m the freaking worst when it comes to remembering to snag something, so Karma should help to alleviate the consequences of my forgetful nature,” he explains.
The team behind Karma just raised about $4.5 million from Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Obvious – all of whom are surely aware of the $100 billion that U.S. consumers current spend in pre-paid gift cards. What’s more, “Last-minute gifting is the place where gift cards hold their strongest position,” notes McCarty.
Once users have logged in to Karma, via Facebook or Twitter, they can scroll through their contacts, and then choose from various gift partners from which they can choose. Current partners include Jawbone, Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify. The service also offers message options for birthdays, special occasions, congratulations or even something as simple as “tough day.”